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TRCH David Suchet

With Apologies to The Warriors: A Tale of Nottingham Student Violence

31 October 17 words: Ben Knight

The students are officially back, so our Ben Knight reimagines The Warriors with a Notts twist...

The year is 2067.
It’s early October, 2AM.
And the students are returning.

The Trents pour from the Red Arrow; must be about nine of them. They’ve spent the evening loitering in NeoDerby, hanging around bus shelters on the edge of town. Loud, but not to attract the UniDerbys. It was outside their territory.

But now, as they step out onto the street, they find themselves in the heart of another territory far from their own.

Upper Parliament Street is too quiet at the early hours, save for the howl of the distant binfox, and they didn’t realise things had changed while they’d been away. This place, this territory, it was in another gang’s hands now; they were in the midst of it. And there, sprayed on the side of Starbucks in bright blue, were these words:

“UNI OF”

It wasn’t long after the leader had noticed it that they came chanting from around the corner. A roving varsity, built like brick shithouses in green and yellow and wielding a combination of hocky and lacrosse sticks; all of which were stained with blood and bits of hair.

They’d been lying in wait ever since they saw the bus pull in from the distance, all the while chanting in whispers to get their blood hot. Now, as they encroached on the new Trent arrivals, the voices in unison all reached a level of rapturous volume:

“I’D RATHER BE A POLY THAN A C**T, I’D RATHER BE A POLY THAN A C**T”

Too many to take; the Trent Army had pummelled their fair share of grannies on the mean Notts Streets, but Uni Of’s Rugby Berserkers would rip them all to pieces with laddish fury. They back off in the direction of May Sum, hoping to belt it around the corner to the roundabout, until the scrawniest and scrappiest one of the Trents pipes up with an overconfident “T-R-E-N-T”.

The others don’t even have a chance to pull him back before he’s cleaved between the eyes with the head of a hockey stick. No time to rescue him, the students go with the original plan and change the other way. The varsity give chase, their chants getting louder and punctuated with hard, angry breaths.

They would reach the tram, and they’d be home free; at least, that’s what they were telling themselves. The early morning trams would bring them to their halls, and thusly to their salvation. They could see one of the stops in the distance, glowing yellow and almost divine. But when they finally reached it, they found it the arrival times flickering morosely; displaying harrowing lateness.

30 MINUTES

The gang tremble; they couldn’t possibly hang around in this spot for a full half hour, especially in the middle of Uni Of turf. And especially when that very gang were out for their blood.

They sat and waited, hoping with all their cruel hearts that the tram would come to save them. Anxious minutes passed, each one more excruciating and drawn out than the last. It had been 25 minutes when they started to think that they were hope free. And then, they came.

The Varsity must have, in that time, returned to their base with the news of Trents scurrying around like rats. Enough time to rally hundreds, if not thousands, of Uni Of wreckers to come looking. And, as the fire glowed and the yelling echoed from over Goldsmith Street’s Hill, it was clear that they had found what they were looking for.

“There they are!” screamed a Rugby Berserker, leading an attachment of Veterinary Dissectorz; some of the finest in the country, no less. They knew exactly how to take a body apart, be it turtle, horse, or Trent student.

They tried to run, but on the other side – rounding the corner from Talbot – came the Literature Loonies, screaming threats of death in a hundred different ways.

There was nowhere to run, and against what they wanted, the stranded Trents had to stand and fight back. They stood, pink shields in hand, ready to defend themselves against the hoard of Uni Of students crying for their blood.

And all this, because of people holding allegiances to institutions that take thousands of pounds of their money equally.

 

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